Comparison of the impact of two key fungal signalling pathways on Zymoseptoria tritici infection reveals divergent contribution to invasive growth through distinct regulation of infection-associated genes

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Child, H. T., Deeks, M. J., Rudd, J. J. and Bates, S. 2023. Comparison of the impact of two key fungal signalling pathways on Zymoseptoria tritici infection reveals divergent contribution to invasive growth through distinct regulation of infection-associated genes. Molecular Plant Pathology. 24 (10), pp. 1220-1237. https://doi.org/10.1111/mpp.13365

AuthorsChild, H. T., Deeks, M. J., Rudd, J. J. and Bates, S.
Abstract

The lifecycle of Zymoseptoria tritici requires a carefully regulated asymptomatic phase within the wheat leaf following penetration of the mesophyll via stomata. Here we compare the roles in this process of two key fungal signalling pathways, mutants of which were identified through forward genetics due to their avirulence on wheat. Whole-genome resequencing of avirulent Z. tritici T-DNA transformants identified disruptive mutations in ZtBCK1 from the kinase cascade of the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway, and the adenylate cyclase gene ZtCYR1. Targeted deletion of these genes abolished the pathogenicity of the fungus and led to similar in vitro phenotypes to those associated with disruption of putative downstream kinases, both supporting previous studies and confirming the importance of these pathways in virulence. RNA sequencing was used to investigate the effect of ZtBCK1 and ZtCYR1 deletion on gene expression in both the pathogen and host during infection. ZtBCK1 was found to be required for the adaptation to the host environment, controlling expression of infection-associated secreted proteins, including known virulence factors. Meanwhile, ZtCYR1 is implicated in controlling the switch to necrotrophy, regulating expression of effectors associated with this transition. This represents the first study to compare the influence of CWI and cAMP signalling on in planta transcription of a fungal plant pathogen, providing insights into their differential regulation of candidate effectors during invasive growth.

KeywordscAMP signalling; Effectors; Cell wall integrity; Plant pathogen; Virulence; Wheat; Zymoseptoria tritici
Year of Publication2023
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Journal citation24 (10), pp. 1220-1237
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/mpp.13365
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Wellcome Trust
Funder project or codeSouth West Biosciences: A Doctoral Training Programme for Bioscience students at Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Exeter and Rothamsted Research
Designing Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
Growing Health [ISP]
BB/X011003/1
Growing Health (WP1) - bio-inspired solutions for healthier agroecosystems: Understanding biointeractions
Delivering Sustainable Wheat (WP2): Delivering Resilience to Biotic Stress
Resilient Farming Futures (WP1): Understanding impacts of single and compound climate policy and biotic stresses on agroecosystem ‘resilience’
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online12 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted23 May 2023
PublisherWiley
ISSN1464-6722

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